Homebase at bottom of Which? shop survey

DIY retailer criticised for in-store experience

29 May, 19

DIY retailer Homebase has been listed at the bottom of the Which? UK high street shop survey of 100 retailers, with only WHSmith ranked beneath it.

Homebase at bottom of Which? high street shop survey

The annual survey of more than 7,700 Which? members looked at bricks and mortar shops offering the best in-store experiences.

Homebase scored 53%, while the worst shop in the UK was named as WHSmith with 50%.

Customer scores were made up of how satisfied they were with their experience and whether they would recommend the retailer.

Homebase was slated for being difficult to navigate, as shoppers told Which? it was “hard to find anything on overcrowded shelves” and that it was “difficult to find staff for guidance.”

It is a blow for Homebase which is currently in the first year of a three-year turnaround plan.

A spokesperson for Homebase commented: “The past few years have been a period of huge change for the business and we recognise that we have had to make improvements to bring back the Homebase our customers know and love.

“That’s why we’ve placed a real focus on improving the basics in store, from being better shop keepers to developing the customer experience, and these changes are central to our turnaround plan.

“There is still work to be done but we are already starting to see a positive response from our customers to the changes we’ve made so far.”

Five of the six highest-scoring shops were specialist retailers, with customers commending them for their expert advice and high quality products.

The only generalist retailer at the top of the table was John Lewis, which scored 86%.

At the top of the table was Richer Sounds, with a score of 89%, and the home entertainment brand was praised for its stellar customer service and in-store experience.

Shoppers appreciated touches like having purchases carried to their car or the retailer paying for customer parking.

A number of retailers underperforming in the high street survey also ranked poorly in Which?’s most recent online shops survey, including Homebase.

Editor of Which? magazine Harry Rose said: “Worries about the future of the high street aren’t going away anytime soon, but it’s clear that there is still demand from shoppers for the experience and services offered by physical stores that can’t always be replicated online.

“Giving shoppers a great in-store experience is more important than ever if brands want to thrive on the high street.

“Our finding go to show that if retailers can deliver great value, quality products and first class customer service, customers will keep coming back.